Obesity and the Demand for Canadian Physician Services


The objective of this study is to determine the role that obesity plays in how often Canadians visit their family doctors or general practitioners. Doctor visits are analyzed using mixtures of ordered probability models applied to sample survey data from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey. This procedure is shown to be superior in terms of likelihood criteria to the more usual one involving count models of doctor visits. The main result is that obesity is one of the leading causes of doctor visits. Obesity has become more important in the demand for physician services than smoking for all Canadians. Other factors including diabetes, the individual’s level of education, position in the income distribution, and drinking behavior are also important. The application of latent class’s ordered probability models by age-group and gender leads to results which are different from what others have found. While obesity is shown to be a serious problem in Canada, it has not yet reached the stage which some researchers have described as critical.

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McIntosh, J. (2014) Obesity and the Demand for Canadian Physician Services. Health, 6, 2624-2631. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.619301.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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